Google’s new partnership with live-streaming CrowdOptic gives surgeons in the operating room at Stanford University Medical School an innovative teaching tool to train medical students.
“The reaction (from doctors) has been that this changes the game,” said CrowdOptic co-founder and CEO Jon Fisher in a statement. He expects the technology will offer a real “paradigm shift” in surgical training.
Thanks to CrowdOptic’s software, surgeons can now offer real-time feedback to medical students who are wearing the Google Glass headset, according to published reports.
The companies said that this may be the first time that a medical student, not the instructor, is wearing the Google Glass to share visual information.
In the past, students viewed surgeries mostly from an overhead gallery that was separate from the operating room or from a camera that was placed directly above the operating table.
With Google Glass, a physician who is conducting surgery can broadcast the procedure outside of the operating room or to other doctors wearing Google Glass.
The ability to live-stream what is taking place in the operating room to other doctors who are wearing Google Glass will advance the learning process to a new level, CrowdOptic said.
“We can allow physicians and other healthcare professionals to share contextual data in a real-time and secure manner through Google Glass, allowing one physician to inherit the view of another physician in the same operating room, within the hospital or even in a more community-based setting,” said James Kovach, MD, vice president of business development at CrowdOptic.
Fisher noted that neither privacy nor compliance to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a problem because CrowdOptic has figured out how to “lock down” the data from the live stream.
CrowdOptic has its own licensed spectrum and thus doesn’t rely on a Wi-Fi partner. The data produced by the live stream is owned by Stanford, and CrowdOptic doesn’t have access to it.
In addition, CrowdOptic seals off other Glass apps when surgery is in progress to keep distractions to a minimum.
Fisher said he was told by surgeons-in-training and by doctors that “this makes teaching more seamless.”